Kasper "Kobbe" Kobberup has returned to the League of Legends European Championship. After spending the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split as the starting AD Carry for TSM, Kobbe was replaced in favor of Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng, and left North America to start for Misfits Gaming in the LEC Summer Split.
Kobbe spoke to Inven Global's Lara Lunardi after Week 1 of the LEC Summer Split to discuss his time as a member of TSM, joining Misfits, and his feelings towards being back in Europe on a European team.
"When I came back to Europe, the moment I got off the plane I felt blessed. I was out of that sh*tty situation. It feels great to be back."
Welcome home, Kobbe. Before we dive into your return, I’d like to know about your journey to NA. How did the opportunity to play with TSM come back then?
We had come off from our run at Worlds with Splyce, after I had played on the team for four years, and I started to realize we had constantly been rebuilding the team with new players, which made every year a struggle to get to the top of standings. It felt like we were doing the same thing for a long time, so I wanted to try something new.
I could have stayed with the team and rebuilt it with rookies, trying to challenge the best, but I didn’t think we could seriously beat G2 or Fnatic. I didn’t necessarily want to go to NA. But here in Europe the top teams did not offer me anything substantial, while in NA I had plenty of good offers. I wanted to win a big title and I thought it would be an easier Worlds run with a team like TSM, and while I knew this was a risk, it was still a good thing for me.
TSM is often seen as a career landmark for many players. What were your expectations joining one of the most prestigious teams in North America?
The roster on TSM seemed to be so good it was hard to believe we would land anywhere but the top three, especially with me joining. When I arrived, it was not what I expected. The team did not click at all and I really did not enjoy my time. The first three weeks were fun and I do have some good memories but with the team’s disagreements and COVID-19 kicking in it was difficult.
I basically sacrificed my life to be in NA. My friends, my family, everything I had in the EU. The only thing that would make that sacrifice worth it would be winning, so when you get there and you are not succeeding, it feels like life has no meaning. I feel like I gave everything up for no reason.
At Splyce I had a really good time. I felt like I was a legitimately good player. Once I got to TSM, I felt like nothing I did was working out. I had to change the way I played and who I was to be able to fit in. I really disagreed with the way of playing the game and the team’s view overall, including how we were playing the games.
I am glad I have that into perspective now. After speaking to a lot of other players, I understand that maybe it was too early for me to go to NA. Obviously I had heard of the solo queue and the level disparity, but even with these things in mind, I did not think the experience would have been so bad.
I think it is no secret that the environment on TSM had become unstable over time. When did you know that things had fallen apart?
Right away there was a big disconnect in how the players wanted to play the game and would communicate with each other. Some players thought our strategy was the right one, while the other half disagreed. Even when disagreeing with the way we approached a game, I still tried to change for them, but we never got to meet halfway because others were not as willing to shift.
The 2-0 weeks brought hope, but there were signs from Week 1 that we had really big issues to deal with.
TSM had a focus on the Top Lane, while nine other teams had a focus on the bot lane. How do you think this strategy played into your performance?
*laughs* Honestly, I don’t want to call the other players out because I think they are really good, but the way we saw the game and communicated about it was so different than what I was used to. Biofrost and I really disagreed on the subject of how much information should be given in a game and how shot-calling would happen. On the top side, Brokenblade and Bjergsen are very vocal and almost scream into the mic.
If I wanted to get anything done in the Bot Lane, I had to basically overshadow and speak over time. I would yell into the microphone, which is something I disagree with. It’s really bad to play this way. In the end I was fine with taking the backseat role if the rest of the team could carry. I thought that was the highest chance of winning.
Brokenblade had a lot of good games and he could carry, he is better at carrying than when left alone. I think we had a very good Mid-Jungle synergy, but at some point, we just dropped it. We became very one dimensional. If we played around Mid-Jungle, we could go to either side lane after and we would have been such a scary team actually. For some reason, we stopped and ended up just going Top, which makes us an easy team to prepare against.
How did you receive the news that Doublelift would be replacing you?
We came out of playoffs, and despite what a lot of NA fans said, I do think I played pretty decently when taking in account the situation I was in, and despite giving my all, after TSM’s loss to FlyQuest, I received a message on Discord saying “hey, we want to have a call with you”, and I was told they were looking to trade in Doublelift.
I really did not see this coming. It felt unfair, the guy has really good relationships with everyone in the team, while he had already seen success with TSM before. On top of that, he is the best AD Carry in NA.
Hearing the news made me feel very sad. I had given up my life to be with TSM in NA, I gave them my best and I really don’t think I was the reason why we did not work out as a team. Honestly, speaking it hurt a lot.
The next month or so were definitely the worst I have ever had my entire life. The pandemic had just hit, so I was stuck in my apartment, my girlfriend had just moved back to the EU, I had lost my job and I was alone every day 24 hours a day. I was a ten hour difference away from all my friends and finding myself without this support was really difficult. Things looked pretty dark until I heard of the possibility of joining another European team, not like I was opposed to being in NA still.
It was implied that TSM helped you find a new home and transfer smoothly to a new team. How did the team approach that transition?
TSM was helpful when I had thought things were really doomed for me but the process of looking for a new team and allowing me to look for what I wanted made me very grateful. I worked with [current TSM coach, Parth Naidu] most of the time and he was very helpful.
Now that they have Doublelift, a very high demanding ADC, how do you think they will perform? Will they adapt to a new style?
With the view they have of the game, Doublelift might be a better fit. The question is, are they willing to play the game in different ways? When I suggested any changes, I felt like I had little to no agency, and maybe he will have that. Potentially, they can be good just based on their roster, but I don’t think they will be better than Cloud9. I think it will be hard for whoever is playing the jungle role. Let’s wait and see.
Now you’re back home.
Have you had time to reflect on everything that you went through this year?
At the moment, I tried to not think about it because of the loneliness I encountered myself in. After I got benched, I had the impression none of my teammates wanted anything to do with me, maybe for the better, or maybe they had no bad intentions, but I felt left alone with no one to talk to. Eventually, I changed my sleeping schedule to wake up at 4 am, so I could talk to my friends and family because, without them, it was miserable.
Were you relieved to return, then?
When I came back to Europe, when I got off the plane I felt blessed. I was out of that sh*tty situation and now I have had many hours to absorb everything that happened and move on. It feels great, honestly.
When I was in NA, the joy I had to play the game, as well as my skill, were gone. So I have been spamming the game to regain these.
How has been the environment at Misfits Gaming?
Our team environment is really good, we have a lot of fun and a lot of jokers on the team. Even though I liked my teammates at TSM, we did not spend as much time outside of the game as we do over at Misfits. I feel more connected here, they are easy to get along with and our interests align.
We are having a slow start and our practice has not been the greatest, but that was expected with all the changes. I think we can only get better from here.
Jokers? Are we talking about Razork?
*laughs* Razork and Febiven are the biggest jokers. They are really crazy and funny, but we all have a lot of fun together.
What do you have to say to the EU fans that have been stoked to have you back?
I have had so much support from them. When I was in NA I think I got a lot of unfair criticism, but I am happy to see the good comments of the fans here. I am not very controversial, so I usually don’t get a lot of hate online.
When I got kicked from TSM, I can’t count how many positive messages I got from fans and close ones, there was a lot of support. I had a warm welcome home, and I am really grateful for it. Without this, it would have been so much more difficult to get through these times.
Find our interview in Spanish through this link: https://www.esportmaniacos.com/lol/kobbe-sobre-su-split-en-tsm-no-fue-lo-que-esperaba-el-equipo-no-encajo-para-nada-y-no-disfrute-mi-tiempo-alli/
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